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Make Your Mind Up About Hydrogen, BBC!

September 27, 2022

By Paul Homewood


h/t Paul Kolk


Some of us have been arguing this for a long time, Mr Fisher!




A new study has cast doubt on government claims that hydrogen could be used to heat homes and so cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, published in the journal Joule, analysed more than 30 studies that looked at hydrogen and heating.

All those studies found that hydrogen was much less efficient and more costly than alternatives like heat pumps

Last week the Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Commons that hydrogen was a "silver bullet".

Hydrogen, unlike fossil fuels, doesn’t give off CO2 when it burns, leading to hopes it could play a key role in decarbonising the economy.,heat%20homes%20and%20so%20cut%20greenhouse%20gas%20emissions.


And as we also know , heat pumps are also a massively more expensive way to heat your home than a gas boiler!

It is of course deeply ironic that, while the BBC are now keen to attack Rees-Mogg, they have themselves been relentlessly promoting the use of hydrogen for years, like in this video from Roger Harrabin:




Maybe in future, Rees-Mogg should ignore what the BBC tell him!

  1. Bill Jefferson permalink
    September 27, 2022 9:18 pm

    And, of course, burning hydrogen produces H2O, a rather more potent greenhouse gas than CO2

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      September 28, 2022 11:23 am

      It is actually far more complex than that. Burning hydrogen (which is actually not very common if you think abut it) safely is rather difficult. Combustion of hydrogen is in air (80% Nitrogen) and the combustion temperature is so high that surrounding nitrogen can combine with oxygen to form Nitrous Oxides which are undesirable for all manner of reasons.

  2. September 27, 2022 9:28 pm

    This is more expensive masturbation. Green hydrogen is not only up-side-down from a thermodynamic view; i.e., more energy in than out, but using so-called “renewables is but more expensive, unreliable self-abuse. Wake up, all you green energy pioneers. Go nuclear ten years from now, and use fossil fuels in the mean time, lest you be hungry and cold this Winter, along with Germany and England.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 27, 2022 10:21 pm

    But it doesn’t matter what happens to
    UK’s greenhouse gases (whatever they are)!

  4. The Informed Consumer permalink
    September 27, 2022 11:30 pm

    Ready, fire, aim……..

  5. mjr permalink
    September 28, 2022 6:27 am

    more on the BBC propaganda.
    Tuesday’s episode of Costing the Earth (Radio 4) being a discussion on “the true cost of energy”. Usual biased guests. All about how renewables, particularly wind, is so, so cheap but giving strange explanations about how energy is so expensive . Some comments on contracts for difference. Not one reference to reliability of supply and need for back up.
    Final take away was more wind please and more more insulation please and all will be ok
    This needs taking apart by an expert

    Also just watched Michael Palin in Iraq (C5). Referring to water levels in Tigris being low due to Climate Change. Hasnt the Tigris been dammed heavily upriver? also referred to drought due to Climate Change. There may be a drought but is this Climate Change or just periodic variance in rainfall?

    • September 28, 2022 11:46 am

      “More wind, please.” Good one. And throw in some magic unicorns while you are at it. Climate is a grift invented by Al Gore to make $$$ selling Carbon-Offset credits in his sham market. The SUN controls the weather, not petulant Swedish teenagers. Someone should ask Angela how all the windmills and Chinese solar panels worked out, or why those mandated air-source heat pumps in the UK don’t quite heat a home with the luke-warm water they produce. All that is needed is another twenty thousand pound$ for insulation and additional radiation. Hey, we are saving the Planet here, ante up!

  6. September 28, 2022 6:49 am

    Everybody should ignore what the BBC tells them!

    • September 28, 2022 11:37 am

      Good advice, Phillip Bratby. We have the same problem over here with what we call the Lame Stream Media, or just Fake News. If their lips are moving you know they are lying. It is all narrative and not news, both frustrating and irritating.

  7. Ben Vorlich permalink
    September 28, 2022 7:30 am

    This is Conservative Hydrogen obviously very bad. Had Milliband suggested it at the conference it would be good Hydrogen.

  8. Mark Hodgson permalink
    September 28, 2022 8:01 am

    Thank you Paul – they were my immediate thoughts, too. And in typical BBC style, instead of analysing all the hydrogen programmes subsidised to date by the taxpayer, instead of reflecting on all those (including their own activist journalists) who have pushed for this form of heating in the (not too-distant) past, they turn it into an attack on Rees-Mogg. As far as I’m concerned, Rees-Mogg is fair game, but not like this. Even by the BBC’s low standards, the headline was very shabby.

    • dave permalink
      September 28, 2022 9:19 am

      I doubt Rees-Mogg actually believes hydrogen power is a silver bullet.
      It is a way of kicking other renewables into the long grass. No need for more wind-mills…hydrogen is on its way! Quite clever.

      BBC has its immediate [sic] priorities and its ultimate [sic] priorities. Tory- bashing is always going to be an immediate one. An honourary mention in the official history books for helping to bring about Global Socialism the ultimate one.

      • September 28, 2022 11:30 am

        I take it “the tall grass” is what we call “the weeds” on this side of the pond. Your final point about Global Socialism is spot on–I watch British telly. Climate is the ultimate, world-wide grift imposed on Western societies by elites if Davos and Brussels bent on controlling the unwashed. They have succeeded in getting entire countries to destroy their energy sectors chasing windmills and magic unicorns. Ask Angela how all that turned out. I hear in the UK they are trying to heat homes with the tepid water that emerges from air-source heat pumps, and puzzling over why the homes are still cold. Oh yeah, they need to double the size of the radiation first. But what’s another ten or fifteen thousand pound$ when you re saving the planet?

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 28, 2022 9:26 am

    The BBC hates Tories more than it loves hydrogen. BBC reporting can be subdivided endlessly in this way.

  10. Carnot permalink
    September 28, 2022 9:55 am

    The likelihood of hydrogen being used as a gas replacement is practically nil. A very good analysis is available here.

    The real rub though is that electrolysis at scale is still very much in its infancy. No-one has built anything as big a 100 MW let alone a GW scale plant. Shell have a plan to put a 100 MW in their Rheinland refinery, but it is still a plan. It will produce 14 kta hydrogen p.a. That is peanuts to what we would need.

    No-one is talking about the amount and quality of the water required. For each ton of hydrogen produced there will be a requitment in excess of 20 mt of demin quality water. You simple cannot put any old water into an electrolyser as it will very rapidly destroy the unit.

    Here is a link to a conceptual GW electrolyser project. It is worth reading though the CAPEX and OPEX looks a little wishful,

    Click to access ISPT-public-report-gigawatt-green-hydrogen-plant.pdf

    • September 28, 2022 11:18 am

      Thank you for the excellent information. I will check out the posts you cited. I heartily agree hydrogen is all happy talk and totally impractical at this time–and likely will be forever given the constraints of those peaky laws of physics and applied thermodynamics. Who knew there were no magic unicorns? Hydrogen production by electrolysis is up-side-down from an energy standpoint, even more so that the happy talk surrounding ethanol based fuels. What is wrong with burning dinosaur bones while we build more nuclear reactors? On another note, I dig your handle. I have a manuscript reproduction of “Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire” penned by your namesake. It is a tedious translation from the original French, but I like referring to it from time to time, and appreciate its innate beauty.

    • Dazed and conservative permalink
      September 29, 2022 8:33 am

      Please excuse my ignorance , I ask this in a spirit of enquiry , not confrontation . If the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen in water is ( according to Herr Google ) 1:8 , why is 20 tonnes of water required to produce 1 tonne of hydrogen ? Presumably losses in production ? Also can sea water ( following expensive and energy intensive desalination ) be used , or will this Swiftian moonbeams-from-cucumbers scheme be another drain on already globally overstretched freshwater supplies ?
      As may be apparent , I just scraped ‘O’ level chemistry 100 years ago . Thanks .

      • Carnot permalink
        September 29, 2022 11:52 am

        You are right to question my maths. It is quite simple really. Water is H2O. The molecular weight (MW) of hydrogen is 1 and that of oxygen is 16, making the MW of water 18 (2 +16). Therefore to produce 1 mt of H2 you will need to consume 18 mt of water. As ever in a any process you will have some wastage. The demin plant will need to be regenerated which will consume water, and the electrolyser will need a purge stream to take care of impurities, exactly the same as steam boilers. Hence my 20 to 1 estimate.

        When producing demin water you really need to start with the best water you can find – i.e lowest total dissolved solids otherwise the cost goes exponential. For the same reason R.O. plants normally run on low TDS water, typically brackish water. The osmotic pressure is proportional to the TDS, so the lower the better; at high TDS the pumping costs increase and the reject rate increases. FYI home use RO units are massive wasters of water. The reject rate is around 10 times the permeate (demin) rate.

        Typical drinking waters are about 300-350 TDS , but there are exceptions. Sea water is about 35000TDS and brackish waters around 500-1000 TDS.

        I hope that helps your understanding, but yu are coorect that it will add further pressure to stressed water supplies.

      • Dazed and conservative permalink
        September 29, 2022 5:24 pm

        Thankyou very much for taking the time to write your reply , which is very helpful . NLPKT is a great resource for scientifically ignorant people like me to shape our opinions on you-know-what , by reading the generous contributions of people like you .

  11. dennisambler permalink
    September 28, 2022 10:38 am

    The basic problem is the false paradigm that CO2 controls the temperature of the planet. It cannot and does not do so, any more than politicians can. Chasing this false paradigm over many decades has cost and is costing trillions of dollars for no effect. The IPCC started with a conclusion and has used modelling ever since to try and support that conclusion.

    In 1981, James Hansen, the initiator of the CO2 warming scare in the late 80’s, put out a paper showing a lack of correlation between CO2 and temperature, although that was not his intent: “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide ”

    “The most sophisticated models suggest a mean warming of 2° to 3 .5°C for doubling of the C02 concentration from 300 to 600 ppm . The major difficulty in accepting the theory has been the absence of observed warming coincident with the historic C02 increase. In fact, the temperature in the Northern Hemisphere decreased by about 0.5°C between 1940 and 1970, a time of rapid C02 build up. In addition, recent claims that climate models over-estimate the impact of radiative perturbations by an order of magnitude, have raised the issue of whether the greenhouse effect is well understood. ”

    Thirty years of cooling, at a time of significant CO2 build up, destroys the warming theory, at least it would do so in traditional science, but contrary facts, even from their own research, do not deter the AGW zealots.

    We are frequently told that “the science is settled”, yet as recently as May this year, 2022, a group of IPCC scientists had a paper in Nature entitled – “Climate simulations: recognize the ‘hot model’ problem”. Hausfather et al

    “Computer models that project future climates are widely used for adaptation, mitigation and resilience planning. More than 50 such models were assessed and compared in the latest round of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, phase 6 (CMIP6), run by the World Climate Research Programme. It is crucial that researchers know the best way to use those outputs to provide consistent information for climate science and policy.

    Users beware: a subset of the newest generation of models are ‘too hot’ and project climate warming in response to carbon dioxide emissions that might be larger than that supported by other evidence. Some suggest that doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations from pre-industrial levels will result in warming above 5 °C, for example. This was not the case in previous generations of simpler models. Findings that show projected climate change will be ‘worse than we thought’ are often attributable to the hot models in CMIP6.”

    The authors make the comment, “There are many aspects of climate change we do not yet understand, (May 2022) hence the continued necessity of climate science.” So much for the science is settled.

    Forty years on from Hansen 1981, climate models are still running “too hot”, yet their conclusions are driving disastrous energy policies in the West, not least in the UK. To misquote Star Trek, “it’s science Jim, but not as we know it”.

    • September 28, 2022 11:07 am

      All great points. I just read a book titled, The Dark Sun, that to my mind definitively shows that THE SUN controls the weather on Earth, and the rise of atmospheric CO2 follows Sun induced warming cycles due to increased vegetation. Climate is a grift, started by Al Gore to make a ton of money running his Carbon-Offset trading market scam. Climate has become but another tool with which the elites seek to control the populace.

  12. Mike Jackson permalink
    September 28, 2022 10:51 am

    We’ve already had two serious incidents in the UK in recent months with gas leaks from old pipes. Given hydrogen’s propensity to rot metal and to locate even the slightest flaw in pipework allowing the stuff anywhere close to Joe Public would be bordering on criminal insanity.

    • September 28, 2022 11:00 am

      Excellent point. And the pressures involved in hydrogen distribution and storge are enormous.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        September 30, 2022 10:16 pm

        Here’s a thing, the main gas transmission network runs at up to 94bar (almost 1,400psi). When pressure is reduced, gases expand and normally rapidly cool down which is how refrigeration works (Joule Thomson effect). The exception that proves this cooling rule just happens to be hydrogen which actually heats up on expansion…oops!

  13. Ray Sanders permalink
    September 28, 2022 11:31 am

    The report below was published in 2013 but it was mostly compiled in 2010 – I was personally involved but like many of the contributors chose to do so anonymously (I could explain why but it’s a separate issue). Basically it is well known that it is not practically possible to run 100% hydrogen (or anything approaching that) through the existing gas grid without spending 100s of billions.
    If hydrogen is to be used it will not be via mains distribution.

  14. Frank Everest permalink
    September 28, 2022 3:26 pm

    What is not generally understood is that Hydrogen is not a fuel in the normal sense of the word, but a working fluid like steam. Both have to be generated by converting heat from fuel one way or another or, in Hydrogen’s case, by electrolysis. which is extremely inefficient. Hydrogen doesn’t come cheap!

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